Latest NGC Stories

NASA Unveils Hubble Photo Of Celestial 'Snow Angel'
2011-12-15 12:45:19

NASA unveiled a photo taken by its Hubble Space Telescope just in time for holiday festivities that resembles a snow angel. The "angel" is actually a bipolar star-forming region called Sharpless 2-106, and its wings shape is derived from the nebula. Despite the beauty of this celestial image, there is nothing peaceful about this star forming region.  The young star that lies in it is ferocious, spitting out super-hot gas at 18,032 degrees Fahrenheit. "A ring of dust and gas...

Image 1 - Stellar Life And Death In A Globular Cluster
2011-11-23 04:33:45

A new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows globular cluster NGC 1846, a spherical collection of hundreds of thousands of stars in the outer halo of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way that can be seen from the southern hemisphere. Aging bright stars in the cluster glow in intense shades of red and blue. The majority of middle-aged stars, several billions of years old, are whitish in color. A myriad of far distant background galaxies of varying shapes...

Image 1 - Suspects Exonerated In The Quenching Of Star Formation
2011-10-12 04:23:27

Supermassive black holes millions to billions times the mass of our Sun lie at the heart of most, maybe all large galaxies. Some of these power brilliantly luminous, rapidly growing objects called active galactic nuclei that gather and condense enormous quantities of dust, gas and stars. Because astronomers had seen these objects primarily in the oldest, most massive galaxies that glow with the red light of aging stars, many thought active galactic nuclei might help to bring an end to the...

Image 1 - Young Stars Take Their Turn In The Spotlight
2011-09-07 10:20:31

  ESO´s New Technology Telescope (NTT) has captured a striking image of the open cluster NGC 2100. This brilliant star cluster is around 15 million years old, and located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The cluster is surrounded by glowing gas from the nearby Tarantula Nebula. Observers often overlook NGC 2100 because of its close proximity to the impressive Tarantula Nebula and the super star cluster RMC 136 The glowing gas of the...

Chandra Discovers Nearest Pair Of Supermassive Black Holes
2011-09-01 06:13:01

  Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory discovered the first pair of supermassive black holes in a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way. Approximately 160 million light years from Earth, the pair is the nearest known such phenomenon. The black holes are located near the center of the spiral galaxy NGC 3393. Separated by only 490 light years, the black holes are likely the remnant of a merger of two galaxies of unequal mass a billion or more years ago. "If this...

2011-08-24 20:36:27

  ESO´s Very Large Telescope has taken a striking image of a beautiful yet peculiar pair of galaxies nicknamed The Eyes. The larger of these, NGC 4438, was once a spiral galaxy but has become badly deformed by collisions with other galaxies in the last few hundred million years. This picture is the first to come out of ESO´s Cosmic Gems program, an initiative in which ESO has granted dedicated observing time for outreach purposes. The Eyes are about 50 million light-years...

2011-08-10 14:12:08

This new picture from ESO's Very Large Telescope shows NGC 3521, a spiral galaxy located about 35 million light years away in the constellation of Leo (The Lion). Spanning about 50 000 light-years, this spectacular object has a bright and compact nucleus, surrounded by richly detailed spiral structure. The most distinctive features of the bright galaxy NGC 3521 are its long spiral arms that are dotted with star-forming regions and interspersed with veins of dust. The arms are rather irregular...

2011-06-16 10:20:00

On Thursday, NASA released a colorful image of the RCW 120 nebula taken bb the Spitzer space telescope. This nebula is 4,300 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius just above the plane of the galaxy. It emits a broad range of colors in the infrared region and has wavelengths beyond what humans can see. The ring-shaped cloud of gas and dust is believed to have originated from the heat of giant "O" type stars at the ring's center. These are the largest and brightest stars scientists...

2011-06-11 07:05:00

A study using NASA's Swift satellite and the Chandra X-ray Observatory has found a second supersized black hole at the heart of an unusual nearby galaxy already known to be sporting one. The galaxy, which is known as Markarian 739 or NGC 3758, lies 425 million light-years away toward the constellation Leo. Only about 11,000 light-years separate the two cores, each of which contains a black hole gorging on infalling gas. The study will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal...

Latest NGC Reference Libraries

2010-09-16 15:00:46

The NGC 5866, located in the Draco constellation, is named after the galaxy with the highest magnitude however some catalogs list NGC 5907 as the brightest member. The M51 Group and the M101 Group are NGC 5866 closest neighbor. The distances between these groups are similar which suggest the three groups are part of a single large, loose, elongated group. However, most identification methods consider them separate.

2010-09-13 17:09:55

The M81 Group, containing the well known galaxies Messier 81 and Messier 82, is a group of galaxies within the constellation Ursa Major. Along with Messier 81 and 82 are several other galaxies with apparent brightness. The center, located at an approximate distance of 3.6 Mpc, is one of the nearest groups to the Local Group. The total estimated mass of the group is (1.03 ± 0.17) × 1012M☉. The Virgo Supercluster contains the M81 Group, the Local Group, and some other nearby...

2010-09-13 17:07:12

The M51 Group, located in Canes Venatici, is named after the brightest galaxy in the group, the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51A). The few other notable members include the companion galaxy to the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51B) and the Sunflower Galaxy (M63).

2010-09-13 16:56:08

The Coma Cluster (Abell 1656), along with the Leo Cluster, is one of two major clusters compromising the Coma Supercluster. It contains over 1000 identified galaxies. Most of the galaxies in the center of the Coma Cluster are elliptical galaxies including both dwarf and giant. However the center is dominated by NGC 4874 and NGC 4889, two giant elliptical galaxies. The brightest galaxies are visible, a few degrees north of the galactic pole, with an amateur telescope larger than 20 cm. The...

2010-09-13 16:27:55

Stephan's Quintet in the constellation Pegasus is a visual grouping of five galaxies which four form the first compact galaxy group ever discovered. The group was discovered by Édouard Stephan in 1877 at Marseilles Observatory and is the most studied of all the compact galaxy groups. NGC 7320, which has extensive H II regions, is the brightest member of the visual grouping and is where active star formation is occurring. Hickson Compact Group 92, which contains four of the five...

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Word of the Day
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'